Saint-Boniface is located on Treaty 1 land, the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
Prior to colonizers arriving on the banks of the Red River, there were primarily Cree, Ojibway, and Assiniboine tribes settled in this area. Their often nomadic lifestyles, including traditional methods of fishing, hunting, and trading furs and goods, did not align with the vision that European settlers had for the development of the region. First Nations and Métis peoples were forcibly removed from their traditional lands, and excluded from the increasingly European society by people like Joseph-Norbert Provencher, who put in place tactics to assimilate Indigenous peoples. These nations have had to fight for their rights, freedoms, and to protect their cultural traditions for generations.
It is important to recognize that Saint-Boniface was built over thousands of years of history, trauma, hardship, and attempted cultural assimilation. It is everyone’s responsibility to learn, understand, and work towards reconciling Canada’s history with Indigenous peoples.